Random Friday Thoughts on Lee-Jackson Day

Photo: Zugr via Unsplash

It’s Friday, and thanks to the political incorrectness that is Lee-Jackson Day in Virginia, I have a four-day weekend off from the day job. Proof once again that, in Virginia at least, the South won the war.

Oh, don’t get your yankees in a twist.

Today I’ll be taking down the Christmas decorations. Don’t judge, Candlemas isn’t for another couple of weeks. I just don’t get you people who take things down on the 26th and say it’s over. It’s only just begun.

Of course, until I’m well into it, I’ll be pointing out, to probably no one other than myself, that we’ll be dragging all of this stuff back out in just about ten months. Instead, I’ll promise to purge and promise that next year it will be more neatly organized. Although I did find the stocking holders this year after about five years without them.

I digress.

Here now, in no particular order, are a series of random Friday thoughts that will either confirm your preconceived notions or piss you off. What you do with them is up to you.

The government shutdown is not about border security or a wall. It’s about political power. Five or more years ago, all the Democrats were supporting funding for the border and a wall. You’ve seen the clips. This is about not giving Donald Trump a political victory. That’s all Nancy and Chuck care about. That was confirmed by Pelosi’s letter about rethinking the delivery of the State of the Union because of security concerns. The Secret Service doesn’t have those concerns.

All that being said, Trump hasn’t handled this well. It’s true that he had two years of GOP control in the Senate and the House. Remember that he needed 60 votes in the Senate to get the spending bill through. He didn’t have that. But he could have stayed off of Twitter and handled it better.

Still, it’s pretty obvious that he’s not backing down. Go read the letter he sent to Nancy Pelosi yesterday afternoon. That’s when I’m writing this so it could be interesting.

I just wish I had the popcorn concession.

Speaking of immigration. I talked about this in December, but we’ve gone through the season of Christmas and multiple political and religious leaders telling us how Jesus would respond to immigrants and saying that it’s not Christian to detain them at the border. First, Jesus never got involved in the political aspects. Second, if you’re saying that the United States should respond in a Christian manner to the crisis at the border, are you not also saying that, by implication, the United States is a Christian nation?

You didn’t think that one through, did you?

I didn’t think so.

Regardless of which side you’re on, the shutdown didn’t need to happen. What needs for happen is for the adults to get in a room, close the door, and work this out.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a tendency to elect adults.

I will say however that, as much as I would have loved to fly to Puerto Rico to see Hamilton, the optics of some 30 Democratic Congress peoples doing so while the government was shut down…well…let’s be honest. It looked like they didn’t care. Maybe because they don’t.

Karen Pence, wife of the Vice President (I get really weirded out by the term 2nd Lady), made news this week with her decision to teach art at a private Christian school that has, wait for it, Christian values. We’ve just celebrated Religious Freedom Day. Seems if we’re going to talk about religious freedom and diversity, we’re going to have to accept the fact that others have different religious beliefs, otherwise “diversity” has lost its meaning.

I don’t know much about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beyond the memes that I see. I’m concerned about her bent toward socialism, and I think that, from the real interviews that I’ve seen, she still has much to learn about politics and the economy. But, she’s owning the public relations war.

Unlike, let’s say…razor companies.

I don’t know that I use any Gillette products. I got my last round of pre-Santa beard razors from Dollar Shave Club. Still, Gillette’s “toxic masculinity” ad will make me neither more or less inclined to buy their products. I just think they need to remember that testosterone is the main reason they’re in business.

I know I’m late to the party, but what’s up with that ending to Infinity War?

No matter how many times Wendy’s remodels, they’re still probably going to get your drive thru order wrong.

I don’t really have a team in the NFL playoffs. I’m sort of a Saints fan, and an anybody-but-the-Patriots fan. But I’m really a displaced Redskin fan. I do remember living in DC when they went to the Super Bowl and won. Good times.

We’ll likely be watching the Super Bowl (can I call it that here?) for the commercials and halftime.

True story, the first time the Super Bowl was in Atlanta I was there working for Jack Kemp and hoping he’d run for President. Jack decided not to run and two weeks after the Super Bowl, I came to Richmond to work for then Governor George Allen. That was twenty-five years ago this week.

While this is totally self-serving (which is sort of what blogging is all about anyway), I’m thrilled that within the last two months I’ve been contacted about either auditioning for or being in three other shows. They didn’t work out, mostly because I was already committed. But yeah, that’s a good feeling.

Finally, the post I’m pondering this weekend: Seth Godin: How to be honorable.

Go read it. Then have a good weekend.

Just be back here on Monday.

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Fitting the Pieces Together

Fitting the pieces together is a lot different than picking up the pieces. At least I hope so.

I’m only four days into this blogging about being sixty and reinventions. So, I’m still trying to fit it all together.

Work with me.

Way back in college when I edited the yearbook we used images from a jigsaw puzzle and I wrote something poignant like “memories of the past fill our minds like the scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.”

I’m cringing as I type that.

That’s not an exact quote since I currently don’t know which storage box contains the yearbooks, and I’m not interested in searching for them for the sake of this post.

Not that I wouldn’t, of course, do anything for you, Dear Reader.

It’s just that some anythings are more equal than others.

The whole thought behind the yearbook theme was that there were, and are, many things that will make up the complete picture of our lives. It’s deeper than that, and it could be worded much more eloquently. Maybe someday it will.

Today is not that day.

I’m pretty sure that idea was the basis for the one “sermon” I was able to give in chapel when I was Alumni Board President. That’s another story…and one I think I need to re-write.


Back to the puzzle at hand.

On another occasion, we were on a retreat with our small group from our church in Washington, DC. We had rented a cabin in the mountains. I’m pretty sure it was winter and weathery.

Over the course of the weekend, we put together a “Where’s Waldo” jigsaw puzzle. We finished before dinner and I attempted to move the card table containing the puzzle. Needless to say the legs were not secure and parts of the puzzle ended up on the floor.

While there were no king’s horses or king’s men, we were able to put it back together.

Except for one piece. We searched and searched. We moved furniture and rugs. In the end, the friends who owned the puzzle and who wanted to frame it, enlarged the photo on the box and recreated the missing piece.

I wasn’t allowed to help with puzzles after that.

Where am I going with the post? If I only knew.

No wait…it’s putting things together.

Here I am, working through the retirement plan. Figuring out what it means to be sixty and on the waning end of my professional career, or at least the current professional career.

I’m trying to figure out what retirement is going to look like. What are the pieces that I have to put together to make this all work out?

I know what some of them are. I know what most of them are.

Still, I’m not yet sure that I have the complete picture.

I’ll get there. I’ll keep searching for the right pieces.

Oh say…while you’re here…can you help me move the couch?

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Cover Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash